The California State Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution declaring September as Service Dog Appreciation Month. HR 63, authored by Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto of District 67 (Riverside County) honors service and working dogs, and declares “that Californians are grateful for the service and dedication these loyal companions provide for their owners and communities.”
AKC was pleased to support this resolution, which lists the many ways service dogs benefit Californians, including as K-9 officers, search and rescue dogs, and dogs assisting those with illnesses or disabilities including veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
“I am proud to introduce HR 63 in the California State Assembly to proclaim September 2021 as Service Dog Appreciation Month,” Seyarto said. “These extraordinary animals perform important and valued tasks that support law enforcement personnel, bring comfort to those in need, and assist individuals in their careers and everyday lives. Service dogs enable their human companions to live their lives to the fullest, and it is important that we recognize their contributions.”
AKC greatly appreciates Assemblyman Seyarto’s authoring of this resolution and joins him in celebrating these wonderful dogs. We are proud to be at the forefront of numerous initiatives and programs that ensure appropriate guidelines, access, and availability of well-trained dogs that, as this resolution states, provide important acts and services, including the following:
AKC and Service Dogs
AKC recognizes the extraordinary value that individually task-trained service dogs provide to individuals with disabilities, while also recognizing the threat to disabled individuals and that comes from poorly trained service dogs or pet dogs that are fraudulently misrepresented as service dogs. AKC is a founding member of the American Service Dog Access Coalition (ASDAC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a broad coalition with the aim of:
- Making travel easier and more enjoyable for service dog users;
- Promoting confidence in the legitimacy of service dogs among venue providers and the public;
- Reducing the fraudulent misrepresentation of pets as service dogs;
- Assuring quality training standards for service dogs.
ASDAC’s mission is demonstrated through the development of the first authoritative, verifiable voluntary credential for service dog users. Service Dog Pass was developed by industry leaders and is designed to streamline access for disabled individuals while assuring venue providers and the public of the safety and legitimacy of dogs presented as service animals. This credential provides verification of appropriate behavior, individual task training, and vaccinations. The credential is currently in beta testing and will be launched in early 2022.
Visit www.servicedogpass.org, watch a short video overview of Service Dog Pass, or contact Mikki Larkin at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the program.
For more information and resources regarding service dogs and AKC’s position on this issue, visit our key issues page in the AKC Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org/servicedogs
AKC and Detection Dogs
The demand for explosives detection dogs is on the increase with one major problem: there are not enough dogs to meet the growing need. In addition, approximately 80 to 90% of the explosives detection dogs in the U.S. are currently sourced from overseas. The AKC Detection Dog Task Force (DDTF) was established in 2016 to help address these issues and encourage the breeding and development of homegrown hero dogs that can achieve the rigorous standards necessary to be an explosives detection dog. The AKC Detection Dog Task Force works with experts from academia, government/public policy, military, policing, training and breeding to create multi-pronged solutions to help address the shortage of U.S. detection dogs.
The AKC has launched initiatives in Public Policy/Government Relations, Networking/Raising Awareness, and Breeder/Puppy Raiser Education to advance these goals.
For more information on this important issue and AKC’s efforts, visit our key issues page in the Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org/detectiondogs.